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“Another great Ibero stay...but read on, please, esp if you're from Iberostar”

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 2 January 2008

We just returned from our second trip to Iberostar at Paraiso. Two years ago, we stayed at the Lindo. Last year, we had a rough trip to the DR, so we headed back to the Riviera Maya. We were 11 people, with 5 rooms at the Maya and 1 at the Grand. Overall, we had a great time and enjoyed this much more than the Melia Tropicale with Royal Service in Punta Cana. There were some SNAFUs, so I’ll try to hit home some of the concerns, in hopes that someone from Ibero reads this and takes them under consideration, and that they help future Ibero guests.

The rooms at the Maya are much nicer than the Lindo, but you should weigh whether that is important since most of your time in the room will be spent asleep… We were in building 60, closest to the beach, which is nice if you want to go to the beach, but if you want to go to the Lobby or to the specialty restaurants near the Lobby, it’s a schlep and a half.

As of December 24, the shuttle to Playa del Carmen was cancelled. When asked why, some staff shrug and say they don’t know, while others say that “now, we have an ATM, so there is no need to go to town”. Yeah, that’s why we went to town, to get cash. C’mon…they want you to shop at the new stores in their mini-mall and don’t want to pay for the shuttle, which, as I understand, became really crowded. I should note here that the shops in the mini-mall do have good prices, better than many vendors post-haggling in PDC, and much better than the vendors that move from lobby to lobby. We found the downtown PDC vendors to be more pushy this year: “hey, come here so I can rip you off” and “come look at my krap”…literally, these were lines they used…and when you try to bargain with some, they get put off, even if you tell them their neighbor is asking 30-50% less for the same stuff…

Internet. The Maya is wired for Ethernet, and there is wireless in the lobby. Despite paying $250-300 per person, per night for ALL-INCLUSIVE, they still want $10/day more for you to use their ISP. It bugs me when Intercontinental and Westin and other full-service hotels ask you to pay (even though places like Courtyard and Springhill give it to you for free), but ALL-INCLUSIVE should be just that. There are other added charges for some activities, which like internet, are a rip-off, but this one should be included…it’s 2008, guys.

On Xmas day, we had three things stolen—from the pool, a hard cover book and a pair of sneakers and from the beach, some Adidas sandals. It happened late in the day, when staff were cleaning up, but the items were not left behind, just unattended for a short period. Can’t say if it was staff or guest, but if I had to guess, it was the former, or one of their buddies that hock stuff on the beach and seam to roam around. Anyhoo, their system of Lost and Found is to tell you to visit your concierge, tell them what you lost, and if they can find in on the master list, you can have it back. Yikes, what happened to going to Lost and Found and gaggling over the stuff…. My advice is: be careful. Apparently, many had cell phones stolen as well, which is obviously a bigger ticket item than used sneaks…

We felt that some of the wait staff was not too friendly. In some specialty restaurants, the waiters just had sour demeanors, while some were friendly and mildly playful. Seems like they should be happy to have this type of job, or get out of the customer service side… Liked: French, Steak, Cajun, Mexican, Japanese at Maya; disliked lunch at pool (especially hours) and Chinese.

While I’m on restaurants, let me chime in on reservations. We arrived on a Sunday and by Monday, reservation for the rest of out 8 day stay were almost non-existent for pre-8 pm seatings. This became perplexing since none of the specialty restaurants were EVER filled, and it seemed that each table would be used once per evening, so the limiting factor was not capacity, but rather the ability of the kitchen staff to cater to a filled dining room. It wasn’t clear whether this was done to steer people to the buffet restaurants. It seems that over holiday periods, guests should only be allowed to make reservations 3-4 days in advance. This would help people who arrive a bit later in the week, but need earlier times for dinner.

Fitness center: hasn’t changed in 2 years and is inadequate for 4 hotels. To use the Grand fitness center, you had to find the right person who would tell you it costs $125/day---holy krap. So you’re stuck in the un-air conditioned fitness ROOM in the Lindo with minimal ventilation, no organization to help people get onto machines, and a fitness hunk who likes to admire himself in the mirrors and really seems disinterested in helping guests. But his mirrors are clean…

Towels—one might have thought that the whole towel card thing would blow over, but apparently not….although at the Grand, they trust the guests…I guess if you pay enough, you can be trusted not to steal the worn, blue pool towels, so they upgrade you to softer yellow ones. Just an annoyance, that’s all. And while we are at the pool, the old get-up-early and urinate-on-your-chaise (with towels and personal items) game is still played…by 8 am, anything in the sun is gone. Maybe just a holiday vacation issue, dunno

Facility access. I hate to be a snob, but if I pay more for the Lindo or Maya, and the signs say that you should not have access to things like the wave pool or the lazy river if you are from the ‘other’ hotels (Paraiso Beach and del Mar), then I shouldn’t feel like I have to ask “security” (and I use that in its loosest sense) to enforce that rule so I don’t have to wait to use the lazy river with my son while people with blue or yellow wrist bands go round and round. Maybe it was the clientele for the vacation period (the model for the ugly American label reared its head several times), but help me out here, cuz our pool was packed and the del mar/beach pool was not….

The grounds are even nicer now than 2 years ago, which was post-Wilma devastation. There is a tremendous effort to keep them up and the foliage, vegetation, etc is stellar. This group of staff from the resort should be really proud. They work hard, seem friendly, and make the resort so appealing.

Keep in mind, like others, I’m hitting the negatives. The resort is great and I highly recommend it—it’s a 4 of 5 stars. If it weren’t our 5th or 6th trip to Mexico, we might be eager to go back next year, but sometimes you gotta break the mold. Go to the Maya, and tell them how they can improve it….and call me if you find my wife’s sneakers…

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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16  Thank hurwitza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,456 - 3,460 of 5,078 reviews

Reviewed 1 January 2008

I was a little hesitant to stay at an all inclusive resort, this was our first time! We went for a week over thanksgiving with 15 other family members and we all agreed that we could not find a better place to accommodate our group. The hotel staff was extremely friendly and courteous. There are activities for all ages and the rooms and the grounds are very clean and well maintained. The pools are great. Our kids especially loved the wave pool. Fun kids activities (salsa dancing, pottery painting). It is like a cruise ship on land...

Honestly the food exceeded my expectations. I brought tons of energy bars and figured that the food would be terrible but it wasnt! :) . The restaurants are plentiful and you can order room service any time of the day. Even the pickiest eater can find something! The mexican food was great. Awesome guacamole. Ice Cream was wonderful! Everything is catered to American tourists...our kids were in heaven with all of the pizza, hot dogs, chicken (stuff that kids eat). The breakfast buffets are great and have anything that you could possibly want to eat. The more authentic Mexican the food the better it was.

Minor Negatives-
Can be a little hard to navigate initially. There could be better maps.

The new workout room was under costruction during our stay but will be updated soon so I am sure it will be great for future guests! The temporary workout facility was pretty tight and small but still ok...

Major Negative-
(Not the hotels fault) Our trip was booked thru a travel agent who used Apple Vacations. The ONLY real negative was our interaction with the Apple Vacation Representative at the hotel. This individual was unbelievably rude. My husband and I travel extensively all over the world and were shocked by the way he treated us. There are other rude encounters that I had with him during our stay but here is our real beef--

We had paid in advance for private transfers to and from the hotel (which I am not sure but probably cost us about $100 per person). We had two adults and two children in our party. Traveling to the hotel upon our arrival we had a large van. Great! The Apple Rep at the hotel knew that but chose to call a 4 door sedan to take us back to the airport. Each of us had a large suitcase and a stroller, my husbands laptop and carry ons...Obviously we would not fit in a car with our luggage that was a little larger than a honda accord...The apple reps solution was to put all of our bags on a bus and have us ride in the car? Not a good one in our opinion. Long story short. He would not call a van for us - He was belligerent to my husband and father in law -Other guests that witnessed the encounter were shocked. My husband was always very polite and kind (he is not always polite and kind and I was shocked he did not loose it on this looser) .

The hotel graciously called us a van that was there in 5 minutes and we went to the airport...The real kicker is that Apple would not completely refund our van ride to the airport because we would not put our bags on the bus. What traveler with half a brain would separate themselves from their bags like that??? Honestly we did not even care about the refund but our travel agent insisted because she was so appalled...Anyway, save yourself a major headache and a rude encounter or three and book thru one of the other companies that do these types of discount trips...their reps at the hotel were always smiling every time we walked by!

  • Stayed: November 2007
    • Value
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2  Thank IndianaSavyTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2007

We just arrived home from the Maya and this resort is amazing.
We have been to many all inclusives and this is the absolute best.

The rooms...
The bathrooms are beautiful and functional and clean and the best. The rooms are spacious and the beds are fine...the pillows are fine as well. The maid service is great...the rooms are cleaned daily and the maid stocks the minibar everyday with whatever you request. There are plenty of towels and I loved the two dispensers in the shower...one is filled with shower gel and the other with shampoo. The balcony has a hammock, with a table and two chairs. The room is the best and cleanest room that I have ever been to for an all inclusive. I think it also helps that the resort is only 2 1/2 years old.

The pools....
The pools are huge and they have every kind of pool you can imagine. The lazy river, the acitivity pool, the zero entry pool and on and on. The only thing about the pools at this time of year is that they were cold. I am a swimmer and I wanted to swim laps in the pool. I couldn't..they were too cold. Now some people called them refreshing....and people were swimming in them. But I did hear many complaints that the pools were cold. I went to the spa everyday where they have an indoor warm water pool and I exercised in there. That pool is also included in the your all inclusive price. It was wonderful. At the Maya each building has their own pool which is very quiet and nice if you want to sit and read without the music from the main pool.

The food...
I thought the food was good. If you didn't like one thing you could go up and chose something else. If you were at a sit down restaurant and you didn't like the food you had the option of going to the buffet afterwards. But overall I thought the food was good.
They have a variety of foods and you could pick and chose whatever you wanted. The ice cream was delicious...especially the butter pecan,(they refer to it as hazelnut),... the coconut.....and the banana! The french restaurant was very good! I also liked the steakhouse. I thought overall the food was fine.

The activities....
All day long they have activities going on at the beach, at the pool, at the tennis courts....just alot of things to do. Pick up a schedule at the towel hut and keep it in your room. You can plan your day according to the schedule. If you are a tennis player go talk to the tennis pro.....he has tennis lessons and tennis tournaments going on during the week. There are pool tables in the lobby and there is always something to do at this resort. You will never be bored.

The landscape...
The grounds at this hotel are immaculate. The workers are always manicuring something on the property. Everywhere you look it is just beautiful. The beach is beautiful, the lighting at night is beautiful, the fountains are beautful....everything is just so spectacular.

The service...
Every employee was so nice and attentive. The service was absolutely fine. The front desk was always cordial....the restaurant staff was very nice and I thought the service in every area was excellent. Some employees speak english and some don't....if one person didn't understand you they would find someone that did. The service was great!

The concierge....
Each building at the Maya has their own concierge. They are so nice and so helpful. Anything you need or want ...just talk to them.
Make your dinner reservations with them...if you want internet... you can sign up with them.....whatever you need they will help you.

The exercise facility..
There is good news about this facility. Right now it does not have air conditioning however we talked to the manager and they are remodeling and adding air conditioning to the gym. So that will be a big improvement. The new hotel next door....The Grand has a beautiful air conditioned gym however when they remodel this gym I'm sure it will be wonderful....just like the rest of the resort.

Overall we had a fabulous vacation at the Maya. This resort is so beautiful and so amazing. The grounds are immaculate, the staff is attentive, the service was great and the whole week was just wonderful. If you are thinking of going to the Maya don't think anymore...just go. It is a great resort.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank Kim2M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2007

First, thanks to everyone who wrote reviews for this resort! It was very helpful and, hopefully, my review will help others. We arrived on Sat. Dec 15th and were welcomed with cool fruity drinks at the reception desk. It was only 11 am, but our rooms were ready and we were allowed to use them immediately. We stayed on the 2nd floor of building 61. We brought our son (23) and daughter (20) and their rooms were located in the same hallway as ours. The rooms were very spacious and immaculate. The only disappointment was the view from our balcony (massive trees). But we did not spend very much time in the rooms and I was not going to let that spoil my trip. Our maid left little surprises in our room everyday and would stock our refrigerator in the morning and evening. She was sure to always leave us extra water and beer! The entire resort was very clean and we could not believe the landscaping and beautiful decor. The pools and beach were beautiful. Drinks were plentiful, premium liquor, and not watered down at all! The food wasn't as bad as I had expected from reading previous reviews. It was not 5 star, but we usually could find something we liked. The breakfast buffet at the Lindo/Maya was very good. My husband had made to order omelets every morning. Our least favorite restaurant was the Italian at the Lindo. The pasta was very, very salty, but it could have just been a bad night. Our favorite restaurant was the Japanese at the Maya. Our favorite place to hang out at night was the Lobby Bar at the Maya. We got to be friends with the bartenders, Jose, Gorge, and Francisco; and the waitresses: Andrea and Karina. Our son and daughter also found this to be their favorite hangout. They met many people their age and would usually head out to the disco at about 12 am. We found the staff in the entire resort to be very friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend this resort and would definitely return!!

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
10  Thank QuePasa_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2007

My son (19 yrs), husband and I just returned Sunday from a week at the Maya. We all loved every minute of our stay there from welcome drink that met us at check-in (our flight was delayed six+ hours) to the extended use of all the resort facilities after the noon check-out (our departure flight was delayed eight hours.) I especially enjoyed the tasteful white and silver Christmas decorations in the Maya lobby.

Our suite was large, quiet, airy and very clean with a terrific view of the ocean and the new 'Grand' resort next door. We were in building #60, second floor, this is the closest to the beach of the Maya buildings.

Each day we were supplied with plenty of towels, water, soda and beer. The beach was perfect with very few rocky areas and plenty of space to walk south for miles. My husband and I walked the beach every morning finding shells and watching the sunrise (around 6:20 a.m.) and met only a few joggers, yoga practioners and fellow morning walkers. This was a great time to put out our towels and 'reserve' prime location beach lounge chairs.

We had a combination of days with very calm waters for snorkeling (not too much to see) and other days of large waves for fierce body surfing. Feeding the large silvery fish was a fun ocean past time and will make you very popular with young children.

All three of us enjoyed variety, quality and amount of food at breakfast and lunch but chose not to eat buffet in the evening. We made a point to eat at l'etoile twice and also enjoyed the Japanese and Fish restaurants. I can't recommend the Lindo gourmet restaurant (el Museo), mediocre food at best.

Take advantage of the complimentry areas of the spa located in the shopping complex across from the Maya and Lindo lobby. The facility was deserted and the three of us enjoyed the salt water pool and humid areas on four different days during our stay.

One note of advice, check to make sure your room keys work. Initially, two of our three didn't work, but new working key cards were delivered to our door in 20 minutes. Some of the cards also seemed to wear out by week's end and needed to be replaced.

Schedule a tour of the 'Grand' resort next door, the place is decadence beyond belief!

All-in-all we loved our week of relaxation at Maya. My son had plenty of time to recoup from his first semester of college and we soaked up lots of warmth to get us through a long Wisconsin winter.

  • Stayed: December 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
11  Thank RedBuddah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iberostar Paraiso Maya

Address: Carretera Chetumal - P. Juarez Km 309, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#5 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#5 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range: $351 - $951 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Iberostar Paraiso Maya 4*
Number of rooms: 434
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located directly on the beautiful beach of Playa Paraiso (Mexico). All junior suites with Jacuzzi, DVD player, upgraded amenities. Exclusive dining plus dine around privileges at over 16 restaurants, 17 full service bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Paraiso Maya Hotel Playa Paraiso
Iberostar Playa Paraiso
Iberostar Riviera Maya
Iberostar Hotel Paraiso Maya
Iberostar Maya
Iberostar Grand Paraiso
Iberostar Paraiso Maya Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya

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